The night before the attacks of 9/11, George Carlin was doing what he did best— harnessing his darkest thoughts and turning them into incisive long-form jokes live on stage. On that particular date Carlin was performing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – part of what would be a four-year residency there – working toward his 12th HBO special. The plan was to title that special I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die, which, considering the names of the specials that bookended that one (You’re All Diseased and Life is Worth Losing) was, in hindsight, in line with the later-era tone of Carlin’s comedy.
The next morning, however, a lot of people actually died and Carlin eventually decided to rename the special, recorded two months later at the Beacon Theater in New York, Complaints and Grievances. Any bits that he deemed in poor taste juxtaposed with the mass casualties and injuries sustained during the attacks on the World Trade Center were scrubbed and shelved. Seven years later Carlin died at the age of 71, before he could release that material.
But 15 years after those bits were recorded, I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die will be released on Sept. 16 on, CD, vinyl and digital formats. Laughspin broke the news two years ago that a new Carlin album was in the works. And thankfully Carlin’s camp just released a clip, wherein the iconic comedian, in part, expresses joy in the idea of an asteroid the size of Minnesota hitting earth. The track is reminiscent of part of his “The Planet is Fine” bit from 1992’s Jammin’ In New York where he proclaims his love of bad news on television, as in, “I wanna see shit blowing up and bodies flying around.” There’s something more wicked in Carlin’s delivery here, though. Check it out below.
“I’ve been working with his daughter Kelly Carlin and his manager Jerry Hamza to preserve and digitize the boxes of recordings he saved in his archives,” says one of the project’s producer’s Logan Heftel. “He left cassette tapes with handwritten notes. We did our best to follow his clues and honor his intention.”
The album, which opens with a 1957 home recording, will also boast liner notes written by Lewis Black, Hamza and Carlin’s longtime comedy special producer Rocco Urbisci. Fans can get an early listen to I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die when SiriusXM premieres it on Sept. 1 on Comedy Greats and Carlin’s Corner.